George Orwell in the novel ‘Animal Farm’ said, “All [men] are equal but some are more equal than others”. This seemed to have been the outcry of many people in regard to the media’s response to the atrocities that occurred in France, as well as the political condemnation made by politicians across the world. On Friday November 13th, 2015, the country of France was rocked by large-scale attacks committed by extremist gunmen and suicide bombers who claimed the life of approximately 130 people. Media houses across the world quickly transmitted this news across various broadcasting sources and gave media extensive attention and air time to what was happening in France. A popular social media site even gave users the opportunity to change their profile pictures to a collage using the French flag to show solidarity for the killings.
This was indeed a sad occurrence and many people expressed their condolences to the victims and their families. However, in the midst of all sympathies expressed, a greater concern arose. The concern was geared towards the lack of media attention, sympathy and condemnation for similar or sometimes even more severe atrocities that have occurred in other less developed or less popular countries throughout the year. Only a day prior to the killings in France, suicide bombers killed 43 people and left hundreds wounded in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. Yet the media coverage and outcry of those killings were minimal. Earlier this year extremist gunmen killed 147 students in a university in Kenya, wounding hundreds more, yet very few people even heard about this massacre as media outlets mostly seemed unconcerned with those lives lost. Next door to the United States, the Dominican Republic pursued a series of “ethnic cleansing”, displacing many Dominican-born Haitians, some even being killed and many hunted and wounded. Yet, very little to no outcry, from anyone in the world including their American neighbors were made during these tragic events.
The frustration of many with regards to the political and media reporting inconsistencies when dealing with these atrocities being perpetrated across the world is therefore understandable. Where is the condemnation for these people? Where is the outcry and the outpouring of solidarity? The truth is we are all human beings and therefore all lives should matter, it is as necessary to shed light on and condemn the acts of violence happening to persons in some remote village along the Gaza strip or to rural villagers in Kenya as much as we mourn the atrocities perpetuated against the citizens of France or the United States of America. Many people across the world empathize and sympathize with the French citizens and have expressed their condolences and shown solidarity to the loss of lives and rightfully so, because this is the human thing to do. However, in the grand scheme of things, we must remember that all human beings are equal despite their status, skin color, religion, nationality or bank balance. As such, a similar response should be extended to all those who are experiencing violence at the hands of those who seek to wreak havoc on our world. All Lives Should Matter!
TREZAWNAH GORDON Trezawnahgordon@gmail.com